Wednesday, January 5, 2011

motivation: CHECK. determination: CHECK. . . well??

INSANITY: Doing the same thing over and over... expecting different results. 
- Albert Einstein 

Welcome to my life: January 5, 2011 and guess what? I have not run ONCE this year. How have 5 days gone by and I have spent absolutely no time running... oh, not to mention I have a 10K in less than 2 weeks. 6 miles, yep: SIX. It's not such an unattainable thing to do though. And actually, I have plenty of time... yea, totally.

OK, one thing you must know about me, and yes, here I am admitting this: I am totally a crammer. I've been this way since college... actually that's not true. This goes back as far back as I can remember! I remember back to the days when I used to play piano competitively, pre-teen and into my teenage days (I am 25 so you go ahead and do the math). I was good, I used to win competitions, play recitals, teach theory classes... yep, that was me. You saw the end result and it was always good. Now, if you could have just been present during my weekly lessons. THAT was an entirely different situation. If I was told to practice 6-8+ hours each week on my songs... that usually meant I put in about 2-3 hours of practice time. I mean sometimes more, but I used to get so nervous going to my lessons because I knew how aggravated my teacher was going to be with me! She would bang on the keys and leave the room sometimes. . . and she was a fiery musician. I would stress out so much at lessons... but for a few days before a recital I would bust it practicing and come showtime- you would never know I didn't spend months, days, and hours working on that piece. But was it really worth the stress I had to put myself through?? I could have really just consistently practiced for months, days and hours and just eased my way up to the show date eliminating all that stress. But in the end, it got done, right?? Studies show when information is repeatedly learned over a period of time not under duress it will stay in your memory longer. So cramming these songs into my memory.... in the end was it all for nothing? To be lost from my memory? I mean if i sit at a piano I can still play certain things... just a few notes here and there. Those were some great 8 years though of learning and appreciating SO much about music. I'm not gonna ever look back and regret any of it. That's just not how I live.

....now here I am today...  running. Yes, I have been consistently running and conditioning... but I can feel the same tendencies kinda creeping back into my system! I trained and conditioned for the last 1/2 marathon...did well,  and now I can feel myself sort of convincing myself that I don't need thaaaat much time to get myself ready for this 6 mile run coming up. One week should be enough... but WAIT...is this really going to benefit me in the long run? and literally in the Austin Marathon February 20th? Probably not. I'm going to end up stressing my body out for something that is meant to be fun! You know what it is? I think I have finally figured it out. I have figured myself out. **Shine the bright lights!** Every day that goes by, I tell myself oh, it's no big deal you still have 15 days left/ 14 days left/ 13 days left etc. Next thing I know it's 2 days before the race and my body will not be ready. THIS IS CALLED PROCRASTINATION RACHEL COY. Not a great life-skill to hone. I am so much better than a procrastinator.

hmm.... so now knowing all this about myself,  I know what has to change. I can't keep cramming for things and expect to have a better result than before. It's not like I cram for everything.... but I hope you are getting the gist of my self-struggle here, I just keep getting in the way of myself, and this-must-change. Imagine how much better of a pianist I could have been if I had really REALLY put in the effort over time instead of last minute...I am not going to make the same mistake with running.   

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. BUT this is just a prediction. This does not mean that I cannot take it upon myself to change the way I go at something and do it BETTER the next time. I am in charge of ME. I can change MY behavior. I can and I will. A young priest from Nigeria once said in his homily,  "How you do anything is an indicator of how you do everything," and I don't want to sell myself short of anything. Even something extra-curricular such as running. The change has to start now. I have to stop myself from falling into these patterns that just leave me frustrated and totally feeling defeated. I cannot keep cramming the way that I have been expecting that I NOT get frustrated and defeated.

Step 1: self-awareness. Accepting where I am at today and what it is that I let get in the way of my successes: myself! awareness and desire to make a change. (put me here at step one!)


Step 2: make the change: nobody can do it for me, I can talk about it until I get blue in the face... but there is no better time than the present to make the change. People may doubt me, but the proof is in the actions. Talk is cheap. . .all around the world. Say what you mean, and do what you say. Otherwise, shut up and get out of my way please. 


Step 3: don't give up. stay patient and consistent. And by this, I gotta tell myself every day that the only person I am letting down is myself. Nobody is going to accomplish my goals for me... and it's up to me to keep myself mentally strong and in the game. And no cheating! If you are going to do something- do it well. Do it right, and reep all the benefits of your actions and hard work. Don't cheat yourself. 


Life is not so easy that you can just snap your fingers and get from point A to point D-E-F or G... you gotta work through each obstacle and persevere. Keep your eyes on the prize and see the value in your efforts. It will not be for nothing. 


So to tie all this mumbo jumbo together.... I am digging deep down to find that motivation inside me to get back to training, eating healthy, and pushing myself to do things I have yet to accomplish! The next 6 weeks it is on ME to keep myself motivated, and I am determined to run the 6 miles with ease and move onto the Austin Marathon 1/2: 13.1 miles.

** this year, I am full marathon bound!